China to Manage California Public Pensions

What’s a state government to do when all the fat public pensions offered a generation ago have come due and all its current revenue is tied up in Squatemalan imports? How can a gov’t pay those oversized pensions without raising taxes or floating another trillion dollars in bonds?

By letting the People’s Republic of China take control of the system. It does have the advantage of never having been tried.

Biggest U.S. Public Pension Looks to China for New Investment Chief

An official with China’s foreign-exchange regulator is the lead candidate to become next investment chief

https://www.wsj.com/articles/biggest-u-s-public-pension-looks-to-china-for-new-investment-chief-1537376027

An official with China’s foreign-exchange regulator is the lead candidate to become next investment chief of the largest U.S. public pension fund, according to people familiar with the matter.

The California Public Employees’ Retirement System has offered the job to Ben Meng, deputy CIO of China’s State Administration of Foreign Exchange, one of these people said. The agency is in charge of China’s more than $3 trillion in foreign reserves. Mr. Meng previously worked for the California pension fund earlier this decade.

Mr. Meng hadn’t signed an offer letter as of Wednesday morning, this person said. Mr. Meng contacted The Journal late Wednesday to say he is a U.S. citizen working at the Chinese agency as a foreign contractor. He said he had no comment on the hiring process.

The U.S. State Department should have revoked Meng’s citizenship the moment he took work in the Chinese gov’t. There is no chance, none, that Meng is loyal to the United States. The Chicomms are very effective at preventing dissidents from holding positions of authority in gov’t… and exploiting ethnic ties when their people turn up in foreign governments, as proven by China’s massive, systemic campaign of espionage on the United States.

Yu (Ben) Meng - UC Davis Graduate School of Management

I can’t use Western physiognomy here because of the obvious ethnic barrier but the Chinese system is worth trying. His eyes have the drooping canthus, the outer side of where his eyelids meet. That indicates an observant and cautious personality, no surprise for someone in high finance. The right side droops more than the left so he’s more reserved in the workplace than daily life. He had an American education so again, no surprise. We are were more honest and open than Communist societies.

His cheekbones also stand out in a casual look. The Chinese believe prominent cheekbones to be an indicator of boldness, which is consistent with his chin. Both Chinese and Western systems agree that a wide, square jaw is a good indicator of dominance and masculinity.

So, Meng definitely has the look of financial success to him. I would have expected a different shape of nose for a financial guru in the Western system; the hooked nose isn’t exclusive to Jews. Meng’s nose is considered family-oriented in the Chinese system and tribalist in the Western. (Note, I can’t see the nose in profile to confirm. Online photos are commonly less than ideal for readings but they’re what I have to work with.)

Meng has not yet accepted the position.

The selection of Mr. Meng would place a familiar face in charge of $360 billion in assets managed for police officers, firefighters and other public workers across the state of California. Mr. Meng spent seven years at the system, known by its abbreviation Calpers, in investment roles. He left in late 2015 and joined the Chinese government agency.

The next investment chief of Calpers faces questions on the future mix, cost and complexity of the pension fund’s portfolio.

If you’ve ever wondered why the rest of America tends to follow California’s lead, this is it: we’re huge. Our markets are too big to be ignored. the mainstream producers of stuff, such as school textbooks, are eager to do what Commiefornians want. Oregon and Arizona are along for the ride.

The current chief, Ted Eliopoulos, attempted a retreat from more expensive investments as the giant retirement system reduced return expectations, cut costs and tried to better protect the pension fund from the next economic downturn. Mr. Eliopoulos said in May that he would leave his post by the end of the year.

Calpers’s next investment chief would join a fund that is debating the direction of its roughly $27 billion private-equity program. Calpers, as part of a review of that portfolio, is exploring plans to farm out billions to pools that will take stakes in private companies.

Any moves made by Calpers, which is responsible for benefits to more than 1.9 million active or retired public employees, will be watched closely in the pension world. The system is considered a bellwether for investment trends. Calpers and many other public retirement systems around the country are struggling to meet their return targets as they try to fill sizable funding gaps.

A case in point. Giving the PRC control of California’s pension system would give them the ability to destabilize the financial sector of the entire country.

Board directors also agreed to a recommendation championed by Mr. Eliopoulos that the fund’s long-term investment target drop to 7% from 7.5% because of changing market conditions and a cash crunch.

Now Calpers Chief Executive Marcie Frost wants the system’s next CIO to have deep investment experience, said a person familiar with the matter. Mr. Eliopoulos hadn’t managed money on Wall Street before becoming the permanent investment chief in September 2014.

She wants a Wall Street insider? Somebody sold Barbie on the idea that stocks only go up. She must want to play risky with the investments she controls. Bad idea but does a woman have the courage to tell an angry horde of parasites to fend for themselves? Illegal immigration suggests no.

CalPERS Cuts Pension Benefits for East San Gabriel Valley Human Services | Institutional Investor

Several pictures of her have the lower sclera of her eyes visible. That’s a sign of fear reaching the limbic threshold. Given her position and call for a CIO with insider stock market experience, I’d guess she’s in over her head and wants to find a man she can unload her responsibilities on. If he’s a senior member of a powerful, aggressive government then so much the better, from the female point of view.

Letting a Chinese agent into the top levels of CalPERS will do much to hasten the day when the PRC Navy does a victory lap around San Francisco Bay. Considering that China has recently taken up the “we’ll give you a loan we know you’ll default on so we can seize the collateral” game in Africa, it’s not hard to see them playing that game with California’s pension funds. A thousand square miles of rural land for every year the PRC keeps the pension fund afloat, perhaps.

Could our leaders sell us out any more eagerly?

 

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